Drag Queens Spread Awareness through Humor and Song

Ramapo’s first Kings and Queens Drag Show was held Thursday, an event focused on educating the campus about the drag community and how it blurs the traditional roles of masculinity and femininity in society.

The popular event – about 100 students gathered outside of the Alumni Lounges waiting to get in – was sponsored by the Women’s Center to get students thinking differently about sexuality, gender, anti-oppression, anti-discrimination and privilege with hopes of starting a campus conversation on important LGBTQ issues.

Drag performers Peppermint and “America’s Got Talent” contestant All Beef Patty were the entertainment sources of the night. Both performers were able to engage the crowd with their risqué humor and contemporary song choices.

“I really enjoyed the drag show, and I think it was a chance for people to experience a culture that they don’t usually get a chance to be part of. I especially liked the singing because it wasn’t lip-syncing, which I hear is very prevalent in the drag scene,” said freshman James Perlas.

After lending their voices to perform live renditions of songs like Bon Jovi’s “Shot Through the Heart,” Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and Donna Summer’s “Last Dance,” Peppermint and All Beef Patty addressed the audience in the question-and-answer segment of the night.

“Getting drunk and throwing glasses of booze and calling each other ‘bitchy,’ that’s not all drag queens do,” Peppermint explained. “And, unfortunately, that’s not a full representation of what drag queens do, but I think that’s what happens with any group that’s in the public eye-misrepresentations happen.”

With the performers’ extensive knowledge of drag culture, the program helped to educate the campus about the drag community and its relation to ideas of feminism and the LGBTQ community.

“I think it was pretty neat, especially because there were two very different drag queens who live totally different lives and have different styles,” said sophomore Raquel Geschleider. “It was really interesting to see an actual drag queen-it’s not every day that you get to see that.”

The drag show also helped raise awareness for the art of drag.

“Not only were Peppermint and All Beef Patty fantastic entertainers, but by ending the show with a Q&A, it allowed people to ask questions about something they may not be familiar with,” said Perlas.

“It’s going to take more than one event to change people’s perceptions of masculinity and femininity, but it helps, especially because we saw that one of the drag performers identified as more masculine than the other, so it was understood that not everyone who does drag identifies the same way.”

The lively audience asked questions about drag lifestyle and culture, life outside of drag for the performers and discrimination within the community.

“The Q&A was very informative and effective,” said Geschleider. “There were a lot of students here who aren’t very informed or have ever been exposed to drag culture before tonight, so it helped dissolve a lot of stereotypes and assumptions that students, especially our age, have about drag queens.”

The audience, overall, was presented with an overview of drag culture in a way that made it accessible to everyone.